How to enable VPN split tunneling in Windows 10

Elena Constantinescu
by Elena Constantinescu
VPN Expert & Privacy Advocate
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  • VPN split tunneling is a practical feature that allows you to access two networks at the same time. You can easily enable it through the Windows 10 built-in settings.
  • Split-tunneling mode is great for remotely connecting to the workplace, saving your network bandwidth, or optimizing your Internet connection speed.
  • It's possible to edit the VPN connection details of the Windows 10 built-in VPN provider, use PowerShell, or configure router firmware options.
  • However, the easiest way to control split tunneling is by using a commercial VPN service. 
enable VPN split tunneling in Windows 10

VPN split tunneling on Windows 10 allows you to access two networks at the same time: yours and the remote computer.

As opposed to redirecting all network data through VPN, this technique isolates VPN traffic from Internet connections.

For instance, you can remotely connect to your workplace through VPN to access the company’s internal resources, such as file servers or printers.

At the same time, it’s possible to stay connected to your home network and access the Internet.

VPN split tunneling is useful for managing the network bandwidth and excluding unnecessary applications from the VPN tunnel, particularly if the VPN bandwidth is limited or if the VPN hampers the Internet speed.

For example, if you use a VPN to watch Netflix, you can enable split tunneling on Windows 10 to route a web browser’s traffic through VPN while using another browser to stay directly connected to the Internet.

Check out our step-by-step instructions below to learn how to enable split tunneling using the Windows 10 built-in settings and a premium VPN client.

Make sure to create a VPN connection before trying method 1 or 2.

How do I set up split tunneling in Windows 10?

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Edit the VPN connection properties

disable Use default gateway on remote network in Windows 10
  1. Right-click the Windows 10 Start button and go to Network Connections.
  2. Click Change adapter options.
  3. Right-click your VPN connection and open Properties.
  4. In the Networking tab, select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4).
  5. Click Advanced.
  6. In the General tab, click Advanced.
  7. Disable Use default gateway on remote network.
  8. Restart your VPN connection.

To disable split tunneling, go to the same place and enable Use default gateway on remote network.

This method can be used to remotely connect to another PC, in order to access files through VPN and use the remote LAN resources while also staying connected to your home network.


Is the Default Gateway unavailable? Here’s how you can quickly fix it.


Use PowerShell

enable VPN split tunneling in PowerShell
  1. Right-click Start and select Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  2. If you don’t know the VPN connection’s name, use Get-VPNconnection.
  3. To enable VPN split tunneling in Windows 10, paste:Set-VPNconnection -name YourVPNconnection -SplitTunneling $true
  4. Replace YourVPNconnection with the actual name and press Enter.
  5. To disable VPN split tunneling, paste:Set-VPNconnection -name YourVPNconnection -SplitTunneling $false

This method is identical to the first one but faster for Windows 10 users familiar with PowerShell.

Furthermore, it’s possible to create and run PowerShell scripts that automatically execute commands like enabling or disabling split tunneling.

Join our PowerShell Troubleshooting Hub if you’re experiencing any issues with this utility.

Get a VPN client with split tunneling

enable split tunneling in Private Internet Access VPN client
  1. Sign up for a VPN subscription plan (we recommend PIA).
  2. Download and install the Windows 10 desktop client.
  3. Launch the app and click its icon in the systray.
  4. Go to Settings > Network.
  5. Enable Split Tunnel and Allow LAN Traffic.
  6. Click Add Application and select a program.
  7. Open the dropdown menu next to the program
    • Select Bypass VPN if you want the program to stay connected to your home network.
    • Or, choose Only VPN to connect the program to the VPN server.
  8. Set All Other Apps to Bypass VPN or Only VPN (opposite of the program’s connection mode).
  9. Click IP address if you want to exclude specific IP addresses from the VPN tunnel.
  10. Restart PIA and the programs added to split tunneling.

There are few VPN clients with split-tunneling support, and Private Internet Access is the best of them. It grants you more possibilities than Windows 10.

Specifically, you can create a whitelist or blacklist of applications and IP addresses to always use VPN or to always bypass it and remain connected to the Internet directly.

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Change router firmware settings

You can also configure split tunneling at the router level if the firmware supports this feature.

It’s an excellent way to share your VPN connection with devices that don’t have native support for VPN clients, such as gaming consoles.

If you’re worried about security, you shouldn’t. Split tunneling doesn’t take anything away from the VPN’s safety features, as long as you use a secure protocol with strong encryption, such as OpenVPN with 256-bit AES.

At the same time, split tunneling doesn’t hamper the connection speed or add any latency. There are only perks to enabling split tunneling on Windows 10 PCs, so feel free to try it yourself.

Conclusion

To sum up, you can set up split tunneling by editing the Windows 10 VPN connection properties or by using PowerShell.

However, we believe the easiest way is by turning to a VPN service with split tunneling support, such as Private Internet Access (buy here).

PIA makes it easier to toggle split tunneling and features many other awesome features.

A fourth alternative is to set up split tunneling mode at the router level if your router firmware supports this feature. It will divert network traffic for all devices connected to your home Wi-Fi.

Did you manage to set up a split tunnel through VPN? Let us know how you did it in the comment section below.

FAQ: Learn more about VPN split tunneling

  • Is split tunneling safe?

Split tunneling is perfectly safe to set up and use. You don’t have to worry about any security vulnerabilities when setting up a VPN between two networks.

  • Does OpenVPN support split tunneling?

Yes, OpenVPN supports split tunneling. You can exclude IP addresses using:route IPaddress netmask net_gateway
For example:route 192.168.1.0 255.255.255.0 net_gateway

  • How do I know if my VPN is split tunneling?

Launch PowerShell, paste Get-VPNconnection and check the SplitTunneling status.